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MLB ratifies new posting agreement; Shohei Ohtani posted effective today

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Major League Baseball just announced that its clubs have ratified the new posting agreement which will govern player transfers between MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) beginning November 1, 2018. MLB simultaneously approved a temporary extension of the previous posting agreement between MLB and the NPB for the next year.

That previous agreement governs the posting of Shohei Ohtani, which also happened today. This creates a window for Ohtani to negotiate with MLB teams that will expire at midnight on December 22. One other player — right-handed pitcher Kazuhisa Makita of the Saitama Seibu Lions — will be posted by the end of December, it was announced. Makita, 33, is a submarine-style pitching reliever who has a 1.91 ERA and 78/21 K/BB ratio over 141.1 innings over the last two seasons for Seibu.

Whichever team can agree to a contract with Ohtani will pay Ohtani’s old team, the Nippon Ham Fighters, $20 million.

The new agreement, which goes into effect next year, will work like this:

  • For Major League contracts with a total guaranteed value of $25 million or less, the posting fee will be 20% of the total guaranteed value of the contract;
  • For Major League contracts with a total guaranteed value between $25,000,001 and $50 million, the posting fee will be: (i) 20% of the first $25 million of total guaranteed value (i.e., $5 million) plus (ii) 17.5% of the total guaranteed value exceeding $25 million;
  • For Major League contracts with a total guaranteed value of $50,000,001 or more, the posting fee will be: (i) 20% of the first $25 million of total guaranteed value (i.e., $5 million) plus (ii) 17.5% of the total guaranteed value between $25,000,001 and $50 million (i.e., $4,375,000) plus (iii) 15% of the total guaranteed value exceeding $50 million;
  • For Minor League contracts, the posting fee will be a flat 25% of the signing bonus;
  • The annual window during which NPB players can be posted will be shortened to November 1st through December 5th.

Ohtani, of course, will be limited to how much he can be paid because he is a foreign free agent under the age of 25 and is thus subject to the international pool caps provided for under the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

And That Happened: Thursday’s Score and Highlight

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Yeah, singular. Other than those ESPN Sunday Night games that opened the season for several years until recently I can’t remember a regular season day or night with only one game scheduled. I also don’t much like it, but no one asks me these things.

Cubs 9, Cardinals 6: The Cardinals led 3-1 heading into the Cubs’ half of the fifth, at which point Chicago went off for five runs, with Ian Happ hitting a two run homer and Jason Heyward, Antony Rizzo and Ben Zobrist each knocking in a run. St. Louis would continue to score but each time they did the Cubs answered, never trailing again.

Heyward had three hits on the night, Happ had that dinger, Rizzo had two doubles and Victor Caratini, giving the just-returned All-Star Willson Contreras an extra day off, had three hits and scored three times.

As for pitching, check out this usage pattern from Joe Maddon:

I guess everyone was fresh after the break, though, so why not?

We get a full slate of 15 games today. As God and Nature intended.